Top attractions in Belfast
Belfast's quarters brim with a bevy of cultural attractions, revealing bright and troubled years of history amid a spectrum of art and architecture. Its vibrant music scene will also keep your feet tapping into the wee hours, be it at a modern venue or pub.
This top museum's highlight is the Armada Room, which contains the wreck of Girona from 1588, along with treasures, including gold and personal items, from Spanish Armada ships.
This grand Baroque Revival structure is on the site of the city's former 19th-century Linen Exchange. On St Patrick's day and other dates the façade is illuminated with a variety of coloured floodlights.
Located on Cave Hill, the 3rd Marquess of Donegall commissioned the re-construction of Belfast Castle in the 19th century. Each of the first two castles in the city burned down.
Construction began in 1899 and finished in 1981. At 131 feet, the Spire of Hope was an addition in 2006. You'll find splendid mosaics and stained-glass windows inside.
The refurbished theater, which opened in 1895, hosts operas, concerts, and musicals. During the years of "the Troubles," bomb explosions damaged it in 1991 and 1993.
The gardens first opened as a private park in 1828 and then became public in 1895. The Palm House is its most striking feature, due to its cast iron and glass construction.
Lady Dixon dedicated the park to her late husband in 1959. There are 40,000 roses and the famed Rose Week celebration in summer. There's also a Diana, Princess of Wales garden.
The main auditorium can host opera and musical performances for up to 2,000 people. The copper, domed roof will ultimately turn green, matching that of City Hall's, among others.
Located in the Titanic Quarter and comprising the SSE Arena, Odyssey Pavilion and W5, it's Northern Ireland's top venue for sports, concerts, and comedy shows.
Thirty minutes from central Belfast, the Norman castle has stood on the shores of Belfast Lough for 800 years. A tour inside will take you back to medieval times.
A four-day tour of the city will allow you to see the sights at a leisurely pace and simply enjoy the rhythm of the city. Add a couple extra days if you plan to make day-trips to the surrounding area, such as Carrickfergus Castle or Giant's Causeway.
It's easy to get around the heart of the city and see its top attractions on foot. There is a bus system, called Metro, which runs from 6:00AM - 11:00PM. Donegall Square is the hub of public transport. Taxis are the other option, especially if you miss the last bus.
It's 30 minutes by car to Carrickfergus. There is also rail service from Belfast Central Station, departing on the half hour, and the journey takes just as long.
Stay in the city center, for example in Cathedral Quarter, a center of nightlife, restaurants, pubs, and art. Queen's Quarter also has its share of shops, cafes, and bars.
- English, Irish Gaelic, and Ulster Scots
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- Best time to visit
- The high season is from May to September, when temperatures are warm and fairs, markets, and carnivals are in full swing. Try to visit in May or September if you want the summertime benefits with fewer crowds.
Things to Do in Belfast
Top Attractions in Belfast
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What people are saying about Belfast
Thank you Cormack for a very balanced, informative tour. The depth of knowledge and the interest that Cormack holds and was able to share was amazing. It is obvious that he takes great pleasure in sharing his heritage and history with you. He also entertained my Mum and I throughout the tour. We both enjoyed the “craic” immensely ! Cormack also had plenty of tips he shared for our stay, that you certainly will not get from your guide book I would highly recommend undertaking the tour before you venture out and about doing other things, it will give you a really good appreciation for the life that the citizens have and still endure. It stayed with us throughout our visit and I am sure it gave us both a different perspective to our visit than if we go had just undertaken the obvious sites and experiences. “Walking a few steps in somebody else’s shoes” We can not recommend Cormack and his tour highly enough 5 stars does not begin to rate this. It is a must do and Thank you Cormack
Fantastic opportunity to listen to both 'sides' of the 'argument', with the guides' first hand experiences of living through 'the troubles' and the ongoing divide between the two communities. We were keen to have our teenage children gain a better understanding about the history and the 'way forward' for the communities. The two tour guides were fantastic. My wife and I were a bit apprehensive about taking the tour, especially with two teenagers, but we were made to feel safe throughout the tour and are so glad that we did the tour. We came away feeling 'numb' as the stark realities of 'the troubles' are laid bare by both guides, but I think that's the whole point of the tour - to learn some of the facts and realities of what happened, and also what the current situation is, and what the future may hold!
Amazing way to discover and understand "The Troubles" and what's really happened through people who lived a difficult time. Beautiful message of Hope in their speech for the next generation. It's where the peace came from! Thanks to both of my guides I will go deeper in my research to try to understand. You can ask all the questions you need or want even the personal one, they will be happy to answer. You can see that they wanna share their story (the tour finished even after because we had lot of questions) to make the conflit stop. You can also feel their scars. (I had my tears too) After this I went to the Crumling and help me a lot to understand my visit. (I advice to do both)
Our driver Steve was on time and very friendly. The tour was not rushed in fact lasted an hour and a half(should have been an hour). Steve explained everything clearly and didn’t bombard us with too much information and always asked if we had any questions. He was unbiased and made us laugh a lot even though the subject of the tour was serious. I would recommend this tour as it was hard to believe that a few miles from the centre of Belfast in 2019 there is a wall and divided community.
Excellent tour with Michael! We visited many beautiful towns on the way to the Giants Causeway, and stopped off in spots where GOT was filmed. We had a fabulous day- it was the highlight of our trip to Northern Ireland, and would recommend 100% to all!